Dr. Keith Bettinger was appointed at Adjunct Fellow to the Pacific Islands Development Program in 2022 after previously serving as Adjunct Fellow to the East-West Center’s Research Program from 2017-2020. Dr. Bettinger completed his Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa with a dissertation focusing on the interaction between political decentralization reforms and the management of natural resources in Indonesia. He has been awarded Fulbright Fellowships for work in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Since completing his PhD, Dr. Bettinger has worked on climate change adaptation projects in dozens of countries. He specializes in working in Pacific Island Countries (PICs) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). This work has included technical support for the design of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other climate change and disaster risk reduction strategies, frameworks, and policies; design of adaptation projects for funding by the Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund, and other climate change financiers; and a wide range of capacity development and institutional strengthening work. He has worked in nearly all of the PICs.

Dr. Bettinger currently serves as the Senior Technical Director for Climate Change for DT Global, a multinational firm that implements development projects for USAID, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), the European Union, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). In this capacity he is responsible for climate change program design and implementation, business development and partnerships, and thought leadership.

As Adjunct Fellow, Dr. Bettinger works with PIDP and EWC colleagues on research projects and outreach opportunities in the Pacific. His research interests include climate change finance, climate-induced migration, the nexus of climate change and conflict, and locally-driven climate change adaptation.


  • PhD, Geography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014
  • Master of Arts in International Affairs, George Washington University, 2003
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Centenary College of Louisiana, 1999
  • Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science, Hendrix College, 1996